Monthly Archives: August 2005

Quitting Law School Job

As things get busier for me, my time has become more valuable. I currently work at the UT Law School in the 5th floor computer lab. I got the job to do precisely nothing, which allows me time to do homework, business etc.

It’s a do nothing job so long as I work night hours. You can see how empty the 5th floor gets at night in this video clip:

do nothing job video

My evenings have become my primary time to run errands, meet people, get work done etc, so my work schedule is becoming an interference.

To solve this, I am quitting. On average I get a $250 paycheck every two weeks, less than a single, low maintenance business of mine brings in. It wasn’t bad pay, considering the most I’ve ever done at the job was this:

I will now have to live without that extra $500 per month, but I will make up for it with some upcoming businesses (One of which I missed the launch date of August 28th).

——————

In other news, I turned in the Dalai Lama Press Application in preparation for my attempt to take a picture with the Dalai Lama. I had a very busy morning, so I scribbled down some information using NevBlog and Weblogs Inc. as publishing editors. At the office, I told them I was a freelancer. I’m sure they will check this site out and see what is REALLY going on!

Also, my next personal business has a new launch date of September 9th, 2005. I am currently outsourcing some writing and doing the proper research to get it up and running.

Moving Fast

Things have been moving at a million miles per hour lately, and I’m loving it. School doesn’t start till the 31st, so I am focusing on business only. Things are starting to get REALLY exciting.

The amount of reading and “studying” I’m doing right now for various businesses is more than I’ve ever had in school, but it’s all for business so it’s much more fun. The reading is mainly for another personal business project I’m launching soon. I’ve got three full books to read and take detailed notes on. It has something to do with:

I’ve got TONS of stuff on my plate, and recently we just added more projects to the table, but More Work = More Money. The problem here is not spreading resources too thin at the moment.

Speaking of moving fast, I saw my first on-the-road Ford GT during a business meeting at a hotel. This thing will set you back something like $180,000:

If only I had the keys…

After paying $13 for 2 hours of parking, I’ve decided to step-up my efforts to buy a new form of easy-to-park-for-free transportation.

For about 2 months I’ve been seriously thinking about purchasing a new Aprilia Scarabeo 50 scooter. Everything I do is within a 4 mile radius of my new apartment, and parking before 6:00pm is the most frustrating thing around campus and all over downtown Austin.

After doing the research, the Aprilia is by far the best (and most expensive) 50cc scooter I’ve seen. It gets 122 miles to the gallon because it’s the only fuel-injected 50cc scooter in the world. I’ve spoken to people who own them, and the consensus say they can hit a top speed of about 50mph with ease…..fast enough to be safe in traffic, and slow enough to keep me out of trouble.

A brand new 2005 model out the door after tax, title and 1-year of insurance is around $3,400.

-Nev

Picture with the Dalai Lama

I want a picture with the Dalai Lama.

He is coming to speak here at UT in September with an audience of approximately 13,000 people. Tickets are free to UT students, but with 13,000 people it will be difficult to meet Lama.

Why a picture? Because he’s the Dalai Lama. Enough said.

I’ve been working on business projects all day, everyday, so I haven’t had too many mini-adventures lately. My next plan is to disguise myself as a member of the press and get close enough to take a picture with the Dalai Lama.

Ticket information is available here…..
http://dalailama.union.utexas.edu/main.php
…..press access is my ticket to get close enough….hopefully.

I must fill out a form, get a background check from the U.S. State Department and receive press approval. I might have to remove this post when I submit my information, just in case they Google my name (I’ve got no clue how extensive their search will be).

I plan to either make up a fake publication or claim I am a freelancer for The Daily Texan, the largest college publication in the country which I used to write for. I may need to pull some strings to get editor-approval for this (J. McNamara, can I call in a favor??).

I might even make a bogus ID card to wear. I’m thinking something along the lines of:

I might also learn how to say “May I take a picture with you” in Tibetan.
This page has a few other Tibetan phrases I could learn.
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9594/tibet.html

Who knows, it may not be that hard, or it may be impossible to snap a pic with the DL. September 20th will be show time.

Stuff Going On

I set a limit buy price of $6.00 on Evergreen Solar (ESLR) a few months ago, and just found out it triggered, buying 330 shares. This is the first buy in my Roth IRA account. Now I need something other than common stock in this account.

An even bigger surprise was the addition of Acco Brands (ABD) to my regular trading portfolio….because I’ve never heard of it. Apparently Fortune Brands spun off their office supplies division, so now I own 7 shares of Acco at around $26 per share.
I’m going to list this $183 as income.

I’ve got a new side business on the way, hopefully launching by my goal date of 8.28.2005. It will be a low maintenance operation once setup, but there is a lot of reading and researching to first be done on my part.

I won’t give away details just yet, but it has something to do with:

I am working on much larger projects with some business associates, making this one look like pennies. However, there is nothing wrong with having several small side incomes.

New Place On The Lake

School is out till the 31st of August, meaning I have about two weeks to concentrate on business projects big and small. It’s time to stop spending time on school and start dedicating full days to business projects.

I’ve also moved out of my old apartment……

…..and moved into a bigger, 2-storey apartment on the lake. I’m less than half a mile from the freeway, and I still get great views like this from my balcony:

So far I plan on spending $0.00 on furniture. Our living room is already stocked, and I’m not too picky about what’s in my room. I’m an awful decorator anyway.

I’m hoping to score a free mattress somewhere around Austin, so I’ve been cruising CraigsList quite often. I might eventually take a trip to WalMart or Fry’s for a small computer desk, but for now I’m going to play it cheap.

The lake is a 10 second walk out my door, and I met my new neighbors, these gooses and ducks!

The move hasn’t been bad so far. One of my roommates has a hookup for free moving trucks, so we’ve spent literally nothing the entire time.

New Casio Exilim EX-S500 – Orange

This will be the 3rd generation of Casio Exilim cameras I own. I love these cameras. Everything about them is good, and each subsequent model far surpasses the previous.

This was my old camera which recently broke after an 8 foot fall: The Casio Exilim EX-S3:

Here is my new toy, the Casio Exilim EX-S500 – Orange:

The camera takes great pictures, I’ve only had it for a short time, but here are some sample pics I took today. I’ve reduced the picture sizes to 1000px.

My FAVORITE feature however is the unlimited video capture. This thing is basically a video camera! It takes video camera quality movies, I keep it only on “normal” video resolution and it still looks amazing. I’ve included some sample videos I took today. The squirrel video was edited and converted to .wmv format. The in-car video was taken at normal video quality, and posted as taken by the camera.

The Exilims all have an extremely high “Wow” factor when you see them….more than any other gadget I’ve owned. This will be the 4th camera I’ve gone through. The Coolpix was immediately sold on Ebay when the Exilim first came out. My first Exilim was given away for free to a good friend, the 2nd Exilim served me well but is broken, and now I have a new, shiny orange camera.

I bought it on Ebay using “Buy It Now” for $393. That includes shipping, insurance and a 3-year warranty….not bad at all. The orange color will be available in the United States later this month.

Pulling The Plug

I’m finally closing the book on the 2nd Bottled Water Experiment where I attempted to get a homeless guy to sell water on Riverside Drive while I was off doing other things.

I can make all the Excel charts I want showing how much profit should be made etc, but it just didn’t work out like that in real life.

I’ve learned a few things from this experience:

  • Working with a homeless guy proved a bit difficult due to a lack of communication, which is much needed for coordinating.
  • Ice proved to be the most expensive, yet shortest lasting commodity.
  • You need A LOT of ice to keep 100+ bottles of water cold in 103 degree weather. Dry ice would probably be better.
  • The amount of work required to pull this off was not worth the money. There were a lot more logistical problems than I first imagined.

The 1st Bottled Water Experiment showed that selling water by yourself can easily bring in a healthy profit, but delegating the work in this case did not.

Since the 1st and 2nd water experiments, I’ve setup Barry with water about 7 times. There are lots of problems which arise, especially schedule conflicts and weather. Weekdays are also surprisingly slow days for selling water, even if it’s hot. Tougher vagrancy laws now in effect also hamper the selling.

Funny thing is, whenever I approach a homeless person to see if they’re interested in selling bottled water, they ALL smile and say, “Ohh…so YOU’RE the bottled water guy!”
I’ve become a quasi-celebrity in the Austin homeless community!

Since this never materialized into a real money-maker, I see no need to further pursue it. I strongly believe it CAN be a money-maker, but with my ever-changing schedule and mounting work load, it’s not for me. At least I learned something new!

Burning Man vs. Nev

A business I started in high school and still have, (House Of Rave .com) focuses on light-up stuff. Over the years I’ve found that patrons of the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert like buying light-up stuff from the site because it gets extremely dark at night in the desert.

Naturally, I made a section geared towards these Burning Man patrons to help them find the most popular items for the event. The people who run Burning Man didn’t appreciate that.

Their lawyers, Gross & Belsky have already threatened me with legal action. Here is the PDF file they sent me via email:

*Update: The PDF file was taken down by request. I have replaced the .pdf file with a small snapshot of the original letter.

They demand I remove the words “Burning Man” and “Black Rock” from House Of Rave.
As much as I hate to admit it, they DO have legal jurisdiction over the commercialization of the “Burning Man” name….HOWEVER, how can they stop me from using “Black Rock Desert” as a keyword? Of course they can stop me from using “Black Rock City” (A temporary city created by Black Rock, LLC), but isn’t the Black Rock Desert simply a desert in Nevada? Oh well.

I did some research and read: The Federal Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051 et seq, California’s Unfair Competition Law, California’s Business & Professions Code § 17200, and the False Advertising Law, and California’s Business & Professions Code § 17500.

While I found a couple of “maybe” loopholes here and there, they have me beat. I’ve got to pick my battles wisely, and there isn’t enough money at stake here to fight back. So I no longer have words “Burning Man” or “Black Rock City” mentioned anywhere on House Of Rave .com.

Also, just for giggles, I snuck a peak at who Gross & Belsky have represented. It appears they have been lawyers for: O.J. Simpson (Not the murder trial), Gianni Versace, Supercuts Inc. and THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA!! They should have just invited me over to California and we could have settled this over a couple of Cohiba’s!

Oye Ve.
-Nev

rave videos